Atlético Madrid Edges with 2-1 Win Over Dortmund in Champions League Getty

Atlético Madrid Edges with 2-1 Win Over Dortmund in Champions League

Analysis

Football

April 11th, 2024

Atlético Madrid took a giant leap towards returning to the Champions League semi-finals after a hard-fought 2-1 victory over Borussia Dortmund in the first leg of their quarter-final tie on Wednesday night.

AFP

Dominant First Half for Atlético

Diego Simeone's men came out firing, grabbing the lead within just four minutes. A defensive lapse by Dortmund allowed Rodrigo De Paul to steal possession and fire past the helpless Gregor Kobel in goal to put Atletico Madrid in advanatage. The home side doubled their advantage just before the half-hour mark through Samuel Lino, expertly assisted by the ever-influential Antoine Griezmann. Despite failing to find the net himself, Griezmann was named Man of the Match for his pivotal role in both goals.

Dortmund Fightback Falls Short 

While Atlético dominated possession for much of the first half, the second half saw a shift in momentum. Dortmund emerged with renewed purpose, enjoying more of the ball but struggling to break down a resolute Atlético defense. Substitute Sébastien Haller offered Dortmund a lifeline in the 81st minute, pulling a goal back with his first Champions League strike for the German club. The visitors threatened an equalizer in the dying moments, hitting the woodwork twice through Jamie Bynoe-Gittens and Julian Brandt, but ultimately fell short.

"We will be ready and hopefully we can put Atlético back in the semifinals of the Champions League," declared a determined De Paul after the match. "We will give all we have to make sure that happens, but we know that it's going to be complicated."

Dortmund captain Emre Can acknowledged the challenge posed by the Spanish side: "We have to live with this result today. It's not easy to play football here because they defend very well. There were phases where they completely overpowered us in the duels. So we'll take the 2-1 and everything is open for next week."

Key Statistics Keep Atlético Madrid Firm Favorites Over Dortmund in Champions League

This victory extends Atlético's impressive home form, with Diego Simeone's side now unbeaten in their last 32 matches across all competitions at the Wanda Metropolitano Stadium. Remarkably, this was also Simeone's 50th Champions League win as a manager. The Spanish giants will be buoyed by the fact they haven't lost a Champions League knockout stage match at home since 1997, a record that will give them immense confidence heading into the second leg.

For Dortmund, the task is daunting but not insurmountable. They will need to learn from their mistakes and capitalize on any opportunities that arise next Tuesday at Signal Iduna Park if they are to overturn the deficit and reach the semi-finals for the first time since 2013.

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tag: Atlético Madrid , Borussia Dortmund , Champions League

Klind Parangoni Author

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